Read on for a recap of the ninth episode of The Ultimate Fighter Brasil..
For the second time in the inaugural season of TUF Brazil, a fight (the last quarterfinal of the middleweight category) was selected in the previous episode, leaving the fans and experts with a whole week to talk about Delson Pe de Chumbo vs. Serginho Moraes.
Before the staredown between the two fighters in the final duel of the middleweight division involving Serginho and Pé de Chumbo, Vitor Belfort - who started winning again after the setback in the last quarterfinal of the featherweight class - recalled all the results of the two divisions.
In the analysis that the two coaches made of the last fight, Vitor hoped Serginho would use his world championship jiu-jitsu to dictate the fight. But he pointed out that he did not see Serginho as committed to his preparation in the house. Wanderlei Silva believed that Pé de Chumbo, with his experience aligned with his standup game, will have the weapons that should give him the victory.
The two jiu-jitsu black belts, who have both won major titles in the gentle art, voiced all the difficulties that they’ve both had before arriving where they are today. Regardless of living in Teresópolis or in the outskirts of São Paulo, the two have come a long way.
The visit of UFC middleweight champion Anderson "The Spider" Silva excited the blue side of the house - and just this side, since the pound-for-pound king of MMA has no sympathy for Vitor. The Spider was part of the old squad of Wanderlei and Rafael Cordeiro (Chute Boxe), and Leonardo Macarrão had his dream come true after training with the champion, who pretended to be knocked out by Wand's pupil.
In this week’s fight, a surprising front kick struck by Serginho in the direction of the face of Pé de Chumbo was the first moment of action in the opening round. The fighter of Team Wanderlei responded with a right hand, but he did not follow up. The two clinched and traded knees until an accidental hit below the belt line of Pé de Chumbo, and the fight was stopped for a few seconds.
When the fight resumed, Serginho took advantage of a kick from Pé de Chumbo, grabbing his leg and taking him down easily. Pé de Chumbo tried to work with the open guard while Wand asked him to stand up. The fight went back up for a few seconds, but in a failed attempt to take the fight to the ground, Pé de Chumbo almost gave away the mount, and in a wrong move he gave his back to Serginho, who did not hesitate. From there it was a matter of seconds until the fighter of Team Vitor applied a rear naked choke and finished the fight between the two jiu-jitsu world champions in the Octagon of TUF Brazil.
"Guys from Vila Olimpia, COHAB, Alliance family out there, from the heart, we're together. I'm very happy, very happy. Thank you everyone who cheered, everybody who believed it," said Serginho, who celebrated before speaking the names of his children and promising better gifts. "My daughter is always with me, Bia and of course, my son, Rick too, that's right, they are always with me. [The victory] was for you. Daddy is coming, the money is increasing, the presents will also be bigger."
Seven members of Team Vitor and only one from Team Wanderlei are in the semifinals of the two divisions (featherweight and middleweight), opening room for a question: How to balance the fights without favoring or harming any competitor? Dana White, the UFC president, has the answer with a direct redistribution of the classified fighters.
The green team of Vitor Belfort, is uncomfortable with the possibility of changing teams, except for Serginho and Thiago Bodão. The two have an opinion about the philosophy of Team Vitor, and what was actually used or not.
Wanderlei sent Vina and Renee Forte without hesitation for Vitor, while a raffle defined Pé de Chumbo would also be a member of the green team.
Vitor, clearly unhappy and emotional, argued about those athletes who could not go to the blue team, so he sent Serginho, Bodão and Godofredo Pepey. The first two ones had already shown their desire for the change, Pepey didn’t.
For the 10th episode of TUF Brazil, viewes will need to stay alert for the crucial changes in the two teams. Team Vitor, winner of seven matches in the quarterfinals, and Team Wanderlei, who triumphed in only one, now have new members. With this situation, former teammates of the green team may face each other sooner than many had expected. Stay tuned next Sunday.